» Monday, November 28, 2005

Baghdad deaths

Asked if the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) was able to confirm that 2 Britons had been killed by gunfire near Baghdad today, the PMOS said that as always, we had to be cautious, and deal with the facts as we knew them at this stage. The PMOS said the most up to date information he had was that one British national was in hospital, and further investigations were going on.

Briefing took place at 8:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked if there was any prospect of re-opening a deal on public sector pensions, the PMOS replied that people should be clear about the parameters of this discussion. Two different things should be differentiated: one was the state pension, and the other was the occupational pension. In the private sector, 40% of occupational pensions were for people who retired at 60. If the pattern of new agreements in the private sector was looked at, many of them had a situation where existing employees would still retire at 60, whilst new entrants would retire at 65. That was precisely what was proposed in the new deals which was agreed a month ago.

Briefing took place at 8:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (3)

Terrorism Bill

Asked if we held out any hope on reaching an agreement on the draft legislation defining terrorism, the PMOS said: yes. We believed that there was a consensus that everyone condemned terrorism, and that everyone wanted to do more to tackle terrorism and its causes, and to take action against extremism and incitement towards dialogues and moderation. We would find out by the end of the day whether we had reached agreement, but we believed that there was still a prospect of doing so.

Briefing took place at 8:00 | Read whole briefing | Comment (1)


Asked for any guidance on the Prime Minister's trip later on in the week, and what was the Prime Minister hoping to get out of it, the PMOS said that we were at a significant point of the budget negotiations. It was important that the countries in Eastern Europe and central Europe understood where we were coming from. Every leader that we had met, which included the Maltese Prime Minister and others, had all said that the key point for the new accession countries was stability, and knowing what their budget was going to be, and being able to plan accordingly.

Briefing took place at 8:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

CAP-EU Budget

Asked whether the PMOS could say whether today's FT story regarding demanding budget cuts all round was "completely wrong", the PMOS replied that he did not want to give a running commentary. However, firstly, it was no secret in June that we believed the budget proposed by Luxembourg was too big. That remained our view, and therefore, that was one of the ways in which we were approaching this negotiation.

Briefing took place at 8:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

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